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NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION Because this book is intended primarily for the reader who knows no Nepali, 1 have not gone to great extremes to represent the exact Dcvanagarl spellings of Nepali names and terms; I have sought instead to provide an adequate representation of their pronunciation. Any reader who is familiar with the Devanagarl script, however, should have little difficulty in reconstructing original spellings. Differences in vowel length and between retroflex and dental consonants are indicated, but distinctions such as those that Devanagarl makes between s and s, which are unimportant for the purposes of pronunciation, are glossed by presented both as sh. The temptation to follow the practice of spelling words such as Lakshml Laxml, or Bhupi Bhoopi has been resisted on aesthetic grounds. Nevertheless, some single consonants, such as v, may be pronounced in various ways: v, w, or b. In each case, the transliteration follows the most likely pronunciation. Vishvavimohan Shreshtha's first name is pronounced Bishwabimohan, and the poet actually spells it like this when required to do so. It would seem pedantic, not to say arrogant, to differ with a man over the spelling of his own name. Long vowels are distinguished from short vowels by the addition of a macron: aid, u/u, ill. A is pronounced like the "a" in southern English "bus," whereas a is like "a" in English "father" or "bath," or occasionally harder, as in "hat." / is like the "i" in "hit," whereas I is like the "ee" in "week." U is like the "u" in "put," whereas u is like the "oo" in "moon." Most Devanagarl consonants have aspirated, or "breathy," forms, represented here by the addition of an "h." Ordinary dental consonants are pronounced with the tongue against the back of the front teeth; retroflex consonants, indicated here by the addition of a dot beneath the dental form (I, d, n, and so on) are pronounced with the tongue pressed up into the palate. xvii This page intentionally left blank ...


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